A Bumper Year - IMTS 2018 in Review

IMG_1920The International Manufacturing Technology Show held in Chicago, Illinois in September set new records. The 32nd edition of IMTS drew a record breaking registration of 129,415 people, 1,424,232 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 2,563 exhibiting companies and 2,123 booths. Bonnie Gurney, director of industry partnerships for AMT credited a rapidly transforming industry stating, “exponential technology advances and a strong economy propel North America’s premier manufacturing show.”

Peter Eelman, vice president of exhibitions and business development for AMT said, “Connectivity, the digital transformation of manufacturing, automation, additive manufacturing and a strong economy were drivers.”

AIMS’ 5-axis coordinate measurement machines support manufacturing’s digital transformation with the ability to process big data and measure complex features in a smart factory environment. We demonstrated our Revolution Series HB Shop Floor CMM fitted with a Renishaw PH20 probe head. Our lab-grade Revolution Series LM, equipped with a Renishaw 5-axis REVO 2 was also available for demonstration at Renishaw’s booth. The LM can collect work piece data with 2D and 3D tactile probes, a surface roughness measurement probe or non-contact vision probe.

The HB is the only 5-axis mobile CMM in the industry. It monitors data process flow in real time because the PH20 quickly obtains high-density points for feature size, location and form for accurate and actionable data.

Traffic at both booths was high. Customers from a diverse cross section of industries visited including aerospace and automotive. They were all looking for equipment that could deliver better throughput. Most weren’t that familiar with the HB and LM technology.

The Internet of Things (IoT), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), the cloud and Big Data have changed the landscape for metalformers. Growing demand for 100 percent part inspection and the logistics of reshoring—two trends impacting mainstream manufacturing—have pushed the CMM into a larger role on the shop floor.  The machines got a lot of attention.

The matchup between our CMMs and 5-axis probe heads puts an inspection and intelligence-gathering tool into the hands of these manufacturers at just the right time. With increasing labor rates and poor quality control overseas driving manufacturing back to the U.S., job shops and fabricators need efficient operations. Automation allows companies to make more parts with fewer people. CMMs with 5-axis technology also make it possible for these companies to do more with less.

Booth visitors were impressed with how quickly the HB with a PH20 probe head and the LM with its REVO 2 probe head were able to measure parts. Attendees were optimistic about the economy and many of the customers that visited us liked another aspect of our equipment.

Our CMMS are manufactured and supported in the U.S.

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